Scholarships and Awards

The Microbiology and Immunology Department is unique in that it offers it's Graduate students numerous opportunities to be recognized for their academic and research accomplishments through a series of prestigious awards. Apart from the Travel award, these awards are provided directly to the students on top of their regular stipends/scholarships. These awards all reward excellence pertaining to various aspects of the students' performance: Entrance awards based on entrance academic grades, the R.G.E. Murray award based on performance in the Graduate seminar series, Travel awards based on demonstrated scientific productivity that warrants presentation at conferences, and the Robinson, Thomas and Poland awards that each recognize comprehensive academic and scientific excellence at various stages of a Graduate student's career. Graduate students from the Microbiology and Immunology department can also compete for awards offered through the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and Western University.

 

All students are encouraged to apply for variety of scholarships. There are a variety of opportunities at various levels of competition. Details can be found on Western's Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website under Student Finances and on the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry website.   

List of Awards

Dr. FW Luney Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Microbiology & Immunology

This scholarship was established by Mrs. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray in honour of her father, Frederick Winnett Luney, a Pathologist and Western Professor. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray worked as a medical technologist in St. Joseph's Hospital Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Western Ontario. She was the chief technologist in the Clinical Bacteriology Service for Victoria Hospital and provided technical support to laboratory teaching for the students of medicine and science for many years. Marion died in London, Ontario in 2013 at age 94.
 
Awarded annually to full-time Master’s or Doctoral students enrolling for the first time in the Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program, based on early application (applied for the program before February 1), academic achievement (minimum 80% average) and research merit. Recipients will be selected annually by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. At least one representative of the selection committee must hold membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Number will vary
Value: Up to $5000
Effective: May 2016 exclusive to new students

Previous awardees:
2006 - Emilty Haggerty, Jaspreet Chahal, Karim Khan, Jennifer Tolman
2007 - Robert Tohn, Hartley Blumenfeld, David Yue, Lisa Mannik
2008 - Saman Maleki Vareki, Biljana Todorovic, Darah Christie, John Cooper
2009 - Johnson Cheung, Ryan Lum-Tai, Rod MacPhee, Matt Rytelewski
2010 - Peter Mitsopoulos, Jenna Kelly, Omar El Halfawy, Jessica Sheldon, Mathias Scinocca
2011 - Kyle McDonald, Kristofer James, Joseph Zeppa, Stacey Xu, Matthew Woods
2012 - Ram Anantha, Megan Enos, Courtney Meilleur
2013 - Julia Di Bella, Julienne Kaiser, Emily Pawlak, Joe Zeppa
2014 - Courtney Meilleur, Mark Trinder, Aaron Johnson, Patrick Lac
2015 - Brennan Dirk, Emily Pawlak, Tanner Tessier, Joshua Choi, Jamie Halucha, Martin Prusinkiewicz, Stephanie Collins, Arthi Rajamohan, Ashish Patel
2016 - Nina Hunt, Brendan Daisley, Ann-Sophie Laramee, Keertika Yogendirarajah, Richard Berish, Jacklyn Hurst
2017 - Adam Meadows, Akshay Sule, Chanuka Wijewardhana, Darshit Patel, Emiley Watson, Jasper Lee, Sarah Donnelly, So Eo, Christine Wardell, Jason Knapp, Robert Kuiack
2018 - Izabela Batko, Michelle Lim, Mitchell Mumby, Dante Foschia, Bita Azad, Rahul Pawa, Johnny Chmiel, Ingrid Hon, Blake Shannon, Katherine Ferguson, Max Zhang, Denny Chin
2019 - Hannah Raczkowski, Jenna Benoit, Cassandra Edgar, Alisha Moynahan, Katelyn MacNeil

Dr. RGE Murray Graduate Scholarship in Microbiology & Immunology

This scholarship was established by Mrs. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray in honour of her husband, Dr. Robert George Everitt Murray. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray worked as a medical technologist in St. Joseph's Hospital Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Western Ontario. She was the chief technologist in the Clinical Bacteriology Service for Victoria Hospital and provided technical support to laboratory teaching for the students of medicine and science for many years. Marion died in London, Ontario in 2013 at age 94.
 
Awarded annually to full-time Master’s or Doctoral students in any year in the Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program, based on academic achievement (minimum 80% average) and research merit. This award is adjudicated by the MNI graduate studies award committee at the same time when OGS applicants are ranked. All applicants applied to OGS will be automatically considered for this award and no separate application is required. For more information on eligibility and application process for OGS, please visit the SGPS website https://grad.uwo.ca/finances/external_funding/ogs.html

Number will vary
Value: $10,000

Previous awardees:
2016 - Kait Al, Stephanie Collins, Tanner Tessier, Colin Venner
2017 - Jacklyn Hurst, Robert Kuiack, Ermela Paparisto, Steve Gameiro
2018 - Laura Craven, Ermela Paparisto, Chanuka Wijewardhana, Ankita Kambli, Rahul Pawa
2019 - Laura Craven, Jacklyn Hurst, Steven Trothen, Bita Azad, Mitchell Mumby, Rahul Pawa

Dr. FW Luney Graduate Travel Award in Microbiology & Immunology

This scholarship was established by Mrs. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray in honour of her father, Frederick Winnett Luney, a Pathologist and Western Professor. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray worked as a medical technologist in St. Joseph's Hospital Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Western Ontario. She was the chief technologist in the Clinical Bacteriology Service for Victoria Hospital and provided technical support to laboratory teaching for the students of medicine and science for many years. Marion died in London, Ontario in 2013 at age 94.

Awarded annually to full-time Master’s or Doctoral students enrolled in the Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program for a minimum of two terms, who are conducting research in Microbiology & Immunology. Awards will be based on academic achievement (minimum 80% average) and research merit. Awards are intended to enable graduate students to attend scholarly conferences or meetings to present their research. Recipients will be selected by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. At least one representative of the selection committee must hold membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Application forms and supporting documentation must be submitted one week prior to travel in ordered to be considered for the award. Year X students are not eligible.

Number will vary
Value: up to $2000

Dr. RGE Murray Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Student Seminar Award

This scholarship was established by Mrs. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray in honour of her husband, Dr. Robert George Everitt Murray. Marion Isabelle (Luney) Murray worked as a medical technologist in St. Joseph's Hospital Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Western Ontario. She was the chief technologist in the Clinical Bacteriology Service for Victoria Hospital and provided technical support to laboratory teaching for the students of medicine and science for many years. Marion died in London, Ontario in 2013 at age 94.
 
Awarded annually to a full-time Master’s or Doctoral student, in any year in the Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program, who is deemed to have the best seminar presentation by peer and faculty nominations. The final decision will be made by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology each April. At least one representative of the selection committee must hold membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Number: 1 MSc and 1 PhD award per year
Value: Cash prize up to $500

Previous awardees:
2014-2015 - Alexander Eastman (MSc), Cason King (PhD)
2015-2016 - Ali Zhang (MSc), Cason King (PhD)
2016-2017 - Nina Hunt (MSc), Cason King (PhD)
2017-2018 - David Watson (MSc), Kait Al (PhD)
2018-2019 - Robert Kuiack (MSc), Charles Yin (PhD)

The Dr. John Robinson Graduate Scholarship

This award was founded by Mrs. Jessica Robinson in memory of her husband, a retired faculty member of our department. He was recruited to the department by Dr. R.G.E. Murray in 1965 and immediately created with colleagues a new undergraduate program in Microbiology and Immunology. He was very proud of his contributions to undergraduate courses, and the first Honors class of the department in 1968. His research specialty was in applied microbiology. Dr. Robinson was a strong advocate of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists and over the years served as Secretary-Treasurer and President. He retired in 1987.
 
Awarded to a student in the second year of the Masters program conducting research in Microbiology in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry based on academic achievement and record of research productivity in the program. Preference will be given to an MSc student who successfully transfers to the PhD program.

Number: 1 MSc per year
Value: Cash prize up to $1000 and the recipient's name on a departmental plaque

Previous awardees:
2009 - Matthew Miller (supervisor L. Hertel)
2010 - Johnson Cheung (supervisor D. Heinrichs)
2011 - Ian Lobb (supervisor A. Sener)
2012 - Joseph Zeppa (supervisor J. McCormick)
2013 - Courtney Meilleur (supervisor M. Haeryfar)
2014 - Emily Pawlak (supervisor J. Dikeakos)
2015 - Kaitlin Al (supervisor J. Burton)
2016 - Patrick Rudak (supervisor M. Haeryfar)
2017 - Brendan Daisley (supervisor G. Reid)
2018 - Robert Kuiack (supervisor M. McGavin)

The John A. Thomas Award

This Award is in the memory of John A. Thomas, D.V.M., Ph.D., who died unexpectedly on December 12, 1993, at the age of 35. At the time of his death, John was a Ph.D. student in the final stage of his training in our Department. He received both his undergraduate and professional education in the University of Guelph, Ontario. After a few years in clinical practice as a D.V.M., John began our graduate program in January 1990 as a M.Sc. student and within a year he switched to the Ph.D. program expecting to complete it at the end of 1994. In June 1994, the University recognized John's accomplishments and potential by posthumously awarding him the PhD degree.
 
John was a bright and dedicated individual with strong determination and used excellent judgement to carry out his experiments. He was also an enthusiastic and excellent demonstrator in the teaching labs and was very much liked by the students. He performed very well in the graduate courses recommended by his Advisory Thesis Committee and some others he decided to take to update and extend his scientific background. John was also actively involved as a representative of the Department in the Society of Graduate Students. He was also a fun-loving man, a skillful hockey player, and an accomplished singer of popular tunes.
 
During his short time in the Graduate Program he brought recognition to both the Department of Microbiology and immunology and the University of Western Ontario. In 1992 he was awarded the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Graduate Student Award for the best presentation at the Annual Meeting. During the course of his training he was supported by a Special University Scholarship of the University of Western Ontario. He was also awarded an Ontario Graduate Student Scholarship that he held at the time of his death. Undoubtedly, John was at a stage in his life where he was ready to take on any challenge, and he had a promising future ahead of him.

Awarded to a Ph.D. student during the last stages of the program in the areas of Bacteriology, Virology, Immunology, and Genetics. Ph.D. students from other Departments of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry may apply as long as the research project fits within the above categories. Applicants should have completed all course requirements and should have passed the Comprehensive Exam or the Ph.D. Candidacy exam.

Number: 1 PhD per year
Value: Cash prize up to $1000 and the recipient's name on a plaque

The prize will be presented by a member of John's family following a seminar presented by the awardee. Also, a plaque with the name of the awardee and year of the award will be displayed in the Departmental office.
 
The following documentation should be forwarded to the Graduate Secretary, Department of Microbiology and Immunology:
 
  1. Letter of nomination by Supervisor
  2. Updated transcript
  3. One-page summary of the research project
  4. Curriculum Vitae
  5. Letter from the Graduate Chair of the corresponding Department supporting the student's application and detailing the student's performance. (For applicants not in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Previous awardees:
1996 - Kishna Kalicharran, Microbiology & Immunology (supervisor: S. Dales) "Initiation of Replication of Coronavirus in the CNS"
1997 - Derek Dykxhoorn, Microbiology & Immunology (supervisor: T. Linn) "The regulation of RNA polymerase synthesis in Escherichia coli"
1998 - Angela Kennedy, Biochemistry (supervisor: D. Haniford) "Transposable elements: From selfish DNA to the immune systems of higher vertebrates"
1999 - Mark Cameron, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: T. Delovitch) "Interleukin-4-mediated Prevention of Type I Diabetes in Nonobese Diabetic Mice"
2000 - Andrea Weston, Physiology (supervisor T. Underhill) "Mechanisms underlying chondrogenesis and myogenesis: common signaling pathways"
2001 - Bruce Seet, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: G. McFadden) "How Poxviruses Stop Traffic: studies on poxvirus chemokine-binding proteins"
2002 - Kevin Holmes, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: G. Dekaban) "Investigating the role of C-terminal domains in the subcellular distribution of NMDA receptor splice variants "
2003 - M. Thomas Sebulsky, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: D. Heinrichs) "High-Affinity Iron Acquisition by Staphylococcus aureus"
2004 - Mark Kirchhof, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Madrenas) "The Role of Stomatin-Like Protein 2 in T-cell Activation"
2005 - Wendy Teft, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Madrenas) "T cell Activation by CTLA-4: The Flipside of Co-stimulation"
2006 - Ron Flannagan, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: M. Valvano) "Stress management: characterization of Burkholderia cenocepacia stress response genes"
2007 - Slade Loutet, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: M. Valvano) "Antimicrobial peptide resistance in Burkholderia cenocepacia: implications for drug development"
2008 - Fred Beasley, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: D. Heinrichs) "Siderophore-mediated iron uptake by the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus"
2009 - Andrew Martins, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: S. Kim) "The role of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor in the anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics and regulation of the intestinal immune system"
2010 - Matthew Miller, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Mymryk) "Functional Studies of the Human Adenovirus 55 residue E1A protein"
2011 - Biljana Todorovic, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Mymryk) "HPV Infection & Cancer – Deregulation of the Retinoblastoma Tumor Suppressor by HPV E7"
2012 - Katie Kasper, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. McCormick) "Streptococcal superantigens in colonization and disease"
2013 - Michael Cohen, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Mymryk) "Dissection of the C-Terminal Region of E1A Redefines the Roles of CtBP and Other Cellular Targets in Oncogenic Transformation"
2014 - Jessica Sheldon, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: D. Heinrichs) "Iron acquisition mechanisms and their role in Staphylococcus aureus survival and virulence"
2015 - Matt Rytelewski, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: J. Koropatnick) "Overcoming innate and acquired therapy resistance by targeting DNA repair in cancer cells"
2016 - Julie Kaiser, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: D. Heinrichs)
2017 - not awarded
2018 - Charles Yin, Microbiology and Immunology (supervisor: B. Heit) "Macrophage dysfunction in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease"

The Stephen D. Poland Award

This award was established by friends of Stephen Poland, a PhD graduate of the Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program at the University of Western Ontario, who passed away in 2002. The award will be presented to the outstanding graduating Microbiology & Immunology Doctoral student in any given academic year. The criteria for the award will include academic performance on graduate courses taken during the program, scholarly accomplishments including published articles, conference presentations, awards received, and evaluations of the doctoral thesis and its defense as assessed by members of the Thesis Examining Board.
 
No application is required. Adjudication will be based on academic transcripts, the Program copy of the thesis which includes a curriculum vita, and documentation provided through the Faculty of Graduate Studies Collip Award process.
 
The Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Studies Committee will determine the award winner from all eligible Doctoral graduates during the academic year. A member of Stephen Poland’s family will be involved in the presentation of the award. The award will be presented each year at the Infection and Immunology Research Forum (IIRF).

Number: 1 PhD per year
Value: Cash prize up to $1200 and the recipient's name on a plaque

Previous Awardees:
2003 - Matthew Lefebre (supervisor M. Valvano)
2004 - Nikita Avvakumov (supervisor J. Mymryk)
2005 - Jonathan Hill (supervisor E. Cairns & D. Bell)
2006 - Jennifer Trowbridge (supervisor M. Bhatia)
2007 - Kristin Chadwick (supervisor M. Bhatia)
2008 - Wendy Teft (supervisor J. Madrenas)
2009 - Mark Kirchhof (supervisor J. Madrenas)
2010 - Federico Beasley (supervisor D. Heinrichs)
2011 - Matthew Miller (supervisor J. Mymryk)
2012 - Katherine Kasper (supervisor J. McCormick)
2013 - Greg Fonseca (supervisor J. Mymryk)
2014 - Stephen Li (supervisor R. Dekoter)
2015 - Matt Rytelewski (supervisor: J. Koropatnick)
2016 - Amy McMillan (supervisor: G. Reid)
2017 - Cason King (supervisor: J. Mymryk)
2018 - Brennan Dirk (supervisor: J. Dikeakos)

Retired Awards

The Roche (2000-2009) and Danone (2010-2014) awards have been replaced by the RGE Murray Graduate Student Seminar Award

Previous Awardees:

2000 - Matthew Lefebre
2001 - Bruce Seet
2003 - Jennifer Trowbridge
2004 - Suzanne Dale
2005 - Mark Kirchhof
2006 - Jailal Ablack
2007 - Siobhan Ramcharran
2008 - Matthew Miller
2009 - Jenna Kelly
2009 - Johnson Cheung
2010 - Johnson Cheung
2011 - Kelcey Patterson
2012 - Ram Anantha
2013 - Cason King